spring allergyWith beautiful spring and warmer weather comes miserable allergies. A welcome change from the cold ushers in a new season, with warm breeze transporting airborne pollen and mold spores. Spring spells trouble for seasonal allergy sufferers; allergens, such as pollen, cause an immune system response in which it is mistakenly recognized as an invader, and the body produces antibodies to attack the allergen. Armed with the right information, you can better prepare for the allergies that the spring season brings.

Common Spring Allergies: Triggers

Pollen is arguably the biggest culprit that triggers allergies during spring. While Mother Nature has a job to carry out, whereby plants release tiny pollen grains to fertilize other plants to carry on the species, the human consequence is unwanted allergies. Swept up in the wind are small, light and dry pollen grains from trees, weeds, and grasses and is easily inhaled, capable of triggering a reaction, even in the slightest amount. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America identifies species of trees that produce highly allergenic pollen, which includes birch, cedar, and oak.

Other trees that can trigger spring allergy symptoms include:

  • Red Alder
  • Maple
  • Elm
  • Birch
  • Ash

Grasses and Weed Pollen Allergens:

  • Sweet Vernal Grass
  • Ragweed
  • Salt Grass
  • Rye
  • Bermuda

Pollen Allergy Symptoms

A flare-up of allergy symptoms is often likely on a dry, windy day when the pollen count is significant. Allergies effects are different from person to person. Symptoms can include:

  • Sneezing
  • Congestion (nasal and ear)
  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Itchy throat, sinuses and nose
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Headache

Spring Allergies: Mold Spores

Molds are ubiquitous, and any disruption of a mold source can release spores into the atmosphere. Some spores behave differently than others, and according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, some dispersed in dry, windy weather, while others spread with the fog or dew in high humidity. Mold can grow on a number of things, from rotting logs and dead leaves to grasses, and in the spring, plants killed by the cold. Mold spores can make its way into your nose, and into the lungs.

Allergy producing molds include:

  • Alternaria
  • Cladosporium
  • Hormodendrun
  • Fusarium
  • Mucor
  • Rhizopus

Mold Spores Allergy Symptoms

The Mayo Clinic lists various signs and symptoms caused by mold allergy, including:

  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose and congestion
  • Cough and postnasal drip
  • Itchy eyes, nose and throat
  • Watery eyes
  • Dry, scaly skin
  • Can trigger asthma
  • In rare instances, anaphylaxis, an acute, potentially life-threatening hypersensitivity reaction.

How to Deal with Allergies

Allergies do not have a cure, but you do not have to suffer endlessly. There are key measures and remedies that you can employ in ameliorating your allergy symptoms.

Over-the-Counter Allergy Treatments

  • Antihistamines: Minimizes sneezing, sniffling, and itching caused by histamine, neurotransmitters found in cells in your body.
  • Decongestants: Constricts blood vessels, reducing swelling of the mucous membrane in the nose.
  • Steroid Nasal Sprays: Relieves inflammation within the nasal pathways.
  • Eye Drops: For the relief of itchy and watery eyes.

Limit Contact with Allergy Triggers

  • On dry, windy days when the pollen count is high, stay indoors and close windows and doors
  • Avoid, postpone of delegate lawn mowing
  • Stay indoors as much as possible and limit outdoor activities
  • Wear a mask to protect against inhaling pollen and mold spores

If your allergy symptoms are serious, it is recommended that you take a more careful approach. AFC Urgent Care Stamford is open 7 days a week during extended hours to treat your allergies. Visit our center or give us a call at 203-969-2000.